Years ago I came in contact with a film I had never heard of. An early Brad Pitt film called Kalifornia. I never cared for Brad Pitt much then (A lot has changed) but I gave it a try and I never could have guessed what I was stepping into.
This film is directed by Dominic Sena (Gone in 60 seconds, Swordfish) and is one of the best thrillers I have ever seen. The story is about four adults who are traveling cross country to view famous crime scenes and to end their trip in California. Brian, played by David Duchovny (The X-Files) is a writer who is working on a book about serial killers and horrible crimes. His lover Carrie, is played by Michelle Forbes (True Blood, The Killing) is a photographer who is taking photos for his book. They both are smart characters who have dreams that drive them to the east coast. They need more people to join them on the trip to help pay for gas and etc so Brain puts an ad out.
The couple that joins them are low bottom worthless white trash. Early, is played by Brad Pitt (Do I need to mention any? Fine! 12 Monkeys, Fight Club, A River Runs through It, Inglourious Basterds, Interview with a Vampire) who is out on parole and lives in a horrid trailer park with his girl Adele, played by Juliette Lewis. (From Dusk Till Dawn, Natural Born Killers) When Early sees the ad at the college he decides to take them up on the offer, but not before Early takes revenge on his landlord for cussing at Adele.
As the movie rolls on we see a thriller based on the relationships of the characters. The most compelling to me is between Brian and Early who both become friends over the course of the trip. All the while we see Carrie forming a bond with Adele and is suspicious of Early. During the trip we see Early committing a few crimes in order to find money to support the trip. Brian is constantly recording himself along the way, fascinated by serial killers, but not knowing that he has been forming a bond with one the whole way. They soon learn that Carrie’s thoughts on Early are true and it all winds down in a compelling finish.
Loved the cast. They bounce off each other so well that you become entangled in them. Brad Pitt did such a convincing job of his character its hard to believe he doesn’t have a southern accent. (He grew up in Missouri! I bet he hides it. You can’t fool me Brad Pitt you carry that accent in a lot of your early works. Too Young to Die?)
I have never been very negative on this film. I will say Michelle Forbes did annoy me. Her acting was great just her character was such a buzz kill, but it helped drive the story so I guess its not really a bad thing, just a little tick of mine.
Brad Pitt records himself telling Brian what he thinks the serial killer did and it is a very creepy shadow that he casts over his own character. Early is always one step ahead of Brian and his bond with Early blinds him from the truth.
“OK. Now, I’m betting his still alive. Real old, living in a trailer park or something, somewheres. But he’s alive, see. Now, he’s thinking about what he’s done, going over it and over it in his head, every night, thinking how smart he is for getting away with it.”
Another line I love is when Early says, “This aint Lucky Logger!” That scene was always hilarious to me!
It’s one of my favorites and its a forgotten gem. Try this one out!
Don’t believe me? Try the trailer!